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2 new tires; Put on front of rear?

I have a front wheel drive Chevrolet Prizm. I am replacing at least 2 tires, but probably only 2 due to low recent business volume and cash flow. So, when talking to FireStone (when I had the car in for other things. I'm not buying them @ Firestone b/c they're too pricey for the products they sell), they said I should put the 2 new ones on the back. My car is front wheel drive and due to the new tires having (presumably) the best traction, wouldn't they be best on the front? Where should I have them put the 2 new tires? Thanks
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Comments

  • edited April 2008
    Tire manufacturers now believe (and many require) that the new tires go on the rear, so the Firestone guys are correct in this regard. Rotate your best old tires to the front.
  • edited April 2008
    Your car has about 60% of its weight in the front and 40% in the back, resulting in 50% more weight on the front tires than the rear resulting in more traction. Current thinking is that you should put the best tires on the rear to help offset this traction advantage and provide better balance.
  • edited April 2008
    This topic is under controversy. Front tires still wear faster than the rear ones do, just as they've always done. By always insisting the best tires remain on the rear axle you give up the traditional advantage of tire rotation to ensure even wear. You would then forever be replacing your tires in pairs rather than sets of four.

    It is true the tire manufacturers have demonstrated there may be a greater tendency to skid with new tires on the front rather than the rear, but they have only been able to show this using extremely well-worn tires of the rear axle. So if you have good rubber on all four corners it really doesn't which set, front or rear, is newer. Not in terms of traction, anyway.

    So the tire manufacturers (on the advice of their legal division) are currently suggesting that the new pair go on the rear. But the tire stores still recommend regular rotation. You can't have it both ways; go figure!
  • edited April 2008
    Steve--The OP already told us in her original thread (wobbling wheel after hitting curb) that she has bald tires. So, in this case, she would indeed have "extremely well-worn tires" on the rear axle if she did as she wished. As everyone has correctly stated, the Firestone store is following the protocol of all major tire companies, and I hope that the OP has the faith necessary to accept that the tire companies are more knowledgeable than she and we are, regarding traction and loss of traction.
  • edited April 2008
    I have to admit that while I've seen films of the wet track testing done at the Michelin Test Track on this subject, with only 50% of the tread removed (they skim it off on one of those truing machines), I too have had reservations. Especially with the advent of ABS. I'm wondering what if any effect ABS would have on the testing.

    But I have to go with the available data at this point even if it feels weird.
  • edited April 2008
    It's a CYA issue. FWD cars tend to "push", that is understeer. If you put the new tires on the front, they tend to REALLY push. By putting the new ones on the back, handling problems are minimized, "come-backs" are minimized, law-suits are minimized and tire sales are maximized...
  • edited April 2008
    So Caddyman, where do you mount the new pair on [i]your[/i] car(s)?
  • edited April 2008
    By the way, I'm not a "she", by any means... Trust me on this fact as when I went to the restroom 3 minutes ago, although there was no question, I confirmed that in fact, I am a man! So, where you get the "she", I have no clue, but I am a man, not a woman or girl. Thank you! Simple and hopefully innocent mistake, but I am a guy. I will probably let 'em put the 2 new ones where they want, but since I'll probably be going to a different place than planned, I will probably now be getting 4 tires, not just 2. However, the advice and opinions given here, were highly valuable as that anybody should question a salesmans (which is basically a live commercial on legs) given opinions/advice in "why?". So, I appreciate all your thoughts, but if I get 4, it doesn't matter and if I get two, well, I firmly believe the manufacturer probably knows a slight (ton more) than I do, about tires!
  • edited April 2008
    Forgot to mention, he probably didn't read my last post! Not everyone goes through every post, only the ones they find interesting. Knowing I just got off work, I had no reason to go through every post and I basically never do. However, I am sure that there are people with an encyclopedias worth of knowledge, that do go through every post! Those are the true "mentors of the group", but we have to be selective about who those people truly are! I am not one of them as I don't know a ton about the mechanical aspect of cars! However, I do study them through sources like Car and Driver, MotorTrend, etc! But, those have nothing to do with the mechanical aspect of a car! Lastly, the most important magazine I read would have to be Consumer Reports because, Consumer Reports has true, proven, knowledge of a cars reliability. Due to this fact, it is a good source to use before ever buying a car! That's just one more reason though (that I don't know much about the mechanical aspect of a car), why I don't read every post, because I just can't truthfully help on most of them and if I felt like I could, I would probably be wrong!
  • edited April 2008
    Wouldn't better tread on the front tires with a FWD car REDUCE understeer?
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